Adobe Illustrator tutorial: Create realistic glass surfaces

Create a wine glass from scratch in Illustrator using transparency and translucency settings, with tips from Rare Design's James Arnott.

8_Create_realistic_glass__urfaces

Step 7 Next, add an inner glow to the wine to give it a translucent edge. Select Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow, setting the Mode to Screen, the Opacity to 100%, the Blur to around ten pixels and making sure that Edge is selected. Again using the Transparency palette, make sure your wine shape is selected and change the blending mode to Multiply. This will make anything white transparent, and in this instance the wine’s edges will become transparent.

9_Create_realistic_glass__urfaces

Step 8 The glass needs some reflections to make it more realistic. Create a shape on the left side of the glass about five pixels in from the edge of the glass. Fill with a linear gradient that goes from a 100% black to a 40% black (light grey) then back to 100% black again. Using the blending mode dropdown again, set the mode to Screen and reduce the transparency slightly to around 80% so the reflection isn’t too overpowering. Try adding a little Gaussian blur to the reflection of around three pixels to soften it a little. Repeat this process again for another two softer reflections.

10_Create_realistic_glass__urfaces

Step 9 Repeat the process from Step 08 to create two highlights around the rim of the glass. Add two small areas of light to the top rim highlight by blurring two small white circles, as shown here.

11_Create_realistic_glass__urfaces

Step 10 Now we’re going to add in a light source. Create a layer below the wine layer but above the wineglass layer. Draw two white rectangles side by side with a small gap in between. Select both shapes, using the Free Transform tool, skew it to the right, then skew the right side up a little. Add Gaussian blur to both the shapes of around seven pixels and set the opacity to 30%. Position them over to the right, then duplicate them, reduce the size and place the duplicates over to the left. These shapes represent light from a window to the left falling on a wall in the background. Now we have a recognizable source of light, we can improvise how it will react on the glass and how the wine in the glass will affect the glass itself.

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James Arnott

Digital Arts Magazine
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